Maryland classroom size bill up for debate

It's illegal in Maryland for teachers to bring up class size while negotiating their yearly contracts with local boards of education. 

Senator Pam Biedle, however, is pushing legislation forward that would allow educators to talk about it. 

According to the Maryland State Education Association, large class sizes are a big concern for teachers and even parents.

The goal of the proposed bill is to make sure students are getting the proper attention they need to succeed. 

"Educators and boards of education could come up with lots of solutions for these issues. It could include additional parent educators in accessible large classrooms or in lower grades where we need additional classroom management or help with academics," suggested Cheryl Bost, president of the Maryland State Education Association.

The Maryland State Education Association represents more than 75,000 teachers. 

A survey revealed 92% of their membership wants to be able to discuss class size in collective bargaining.

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If this bill passes, it would allow local boards of education to negotiate the maximum number of students assigned to a classroom.

Currently, Maryland is one of only nine states where class size is an illegal subject of bargaining.

Senator Beidle believes this legislation might increase the number of teachers required in a school system, which could potentially raise the school system’s budget enabling them to hire more staff.

However, that would depend on how much money the county gives the local school district.

The Maryland Association of Boards of Education opposes the bill.

The Director of Governmental Relations John Woolums wants to remind people a contract agreement is a one size fits all approach and class size is not a one size fits all topic

"Adding class size raises questions about literally the square footage of classes and the space in which teachers have to teach and ratios of professionals to students in those classrooms, and we already have a staff shortage," Woolums said.

Similar bills have been brought up multiple times during the Maryland General Assembly. In the past, they've failed. 

This is a developing story. Check back with FOX 5 for updates.